Rachel Recommends: Winter 2020 Edition
Posted on February 25, 2020
I apologize for the delay in my winter edition. Winter is a challenge for me, so I decided to write all about enduring the dark times and turbulent weather. I promise that it was a joy to read, filled with mirth and sarcasm. Now we are less than a month until spring, and I have yet to be even slightly inconvenienced by the winter season. My post was no longer relevant or relatable, so I’ve scrapped it.
Regardless of how wintry the weather gets; I am pretty much looking for ways to occupy myself until the first excuse for a cookout and pedicure (not in that order). I look for spring like a cubicle worker watches a clock on Friday afternoons.
The following are fantastic distractions to help you while away the hours until bags of mulch start to appear at gas stations (an undeniable sign of imminent spring).
Do you want to be terrified by the climate crisis? Are you happily eating a plant-based diet and want some validation, or would you like to feel shame while eating eggs at breakfast? Have I got a book for you! Brought to you by the author that guilted you with Eating Animals.
In all honesty, I enjoy reading books that help drive my already solidified concerns about the world. I did not read this book blindly unaware or unconcerned about the climate and dire situation our planet is in. Having concern, however, does not actually accomplish anything, and having occasional reminders to act is important. Safran Foer sheds new light on commercial agriculture and its impact on the environment and offers options to help mitigate the problem right in your own home.
I am not a frequent mystery reader, but after listening to a radio interview with Attica Locke, I was turned on to her Highway 59 series set in rural Texas. Darn that NPR for lengthening my “to-be-read” list.
Ms. Locke has a talent for bringing readers into her world and the world of her characters. The rich history of the communities represented, and their interconnectedness, is absolutely my bag. We ride shotgun with Texas Ranger Darren Matthews as he tries to live an honest life and uphold the prestige of his badge while making sure those close to him are kept safe.
Once you’ve finished Bluebird, Bluebird, don’t forget to read Locke’s follow up, Heaven, My Home.
Leave it to a juvenile picture book to help us find pleasure in the smallest of things. Stringer challenges logic when she argues that winter is, in fact, the warmest season. She goes on to describe “fuzzy boots…grilled cheeses…thick blankets of snow…oven-hot breads…and pajamas that grow big, warm feet.” I’m warmer already.
This year we have been gifted yet another incarnation of Little Women. A beloved book to be sure, and apparently a movie that needed to be re-made for each generation since the dawn of film.
By far, my favorite version of Ms. Alcott’s book-to-movie is George Cukor’s 1933 version starring Katharine Hepburn as Jo (obviously). It is the version that makes me feel as close to the March family as I did when I read the book as a kid.
An excellent version came out in 1996, but despite my allegiance to all things ’90s (#winonaforever), I just cannot get through it. With every viewing/reading I am always disappointed in Jo for *spoiler* choosing Dr. Behr over Laurie. When Christian Bale was cast, it just seemed ridiculous. Seriously? Gabriel Byrne over Christian Bale? Come on!
Let me know how the 2019 version holds up.
This is a book that has given me a bit of solace during this season. Rather than rail against it, I am slowly coming to terms with winter and learning to embrace it. Filled with stories of survival and contriving, artwork and appreciation, Winterlust may change my mind yet.